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1999 Minnesota Session Laws

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                             CHAPTER 76-H.F.No. 868 
                  An act relating to crime prevention; amending the 
                  theft law to specifically apply to certain situations 
                  involving the rental of personal property or 
                  equipment; amending Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 
                  609.52, subdivisions 1 and 2. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 609.52, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] In this section: 
           (1) "Property" means all forms of tangible property, 
        whether real or personal, without limitation including documents 
        of value, electricity, gas, water, corpses, domestic animals, 
        dogs, pets, fowl, and heat supplied by pipe or conduit by 
        municipalities or public utility companies and articles, as 
        defined in clause (4), representing trade secrets, which 
        articles shall be deemed for the purposes of Extra Session Laws 
        1967, chapter 15 to include any trade secret represented by the 
        article. 
           (2) "Movable property" is property whose physical location 
        can be changed, including without limitation things growing on, 
        affixed to, or found in land. 
           (3) "Value" means the retail market value at the time of 
        the theft, or if the retail market value cannot be ascertained, 
        the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time 
        after the theft, or in the case of a theft or the making of a 
        copy of an article representing a trade secret, where the retail 
        market value or replacement cost cannot be ascertained, any 
        reasonable value representing the damage to the owner which the 
        owner has suffered by reason of losing an advantage over those 
        who do not know of or use the trade secret.  For a check, draft, 
        or other order for the payment of money, "value" means the 
        amount of money promised or ordered to be paid under the terms 
        of the check, draft, or other order.  For a theft committed 
        within the meaning of subdivision 2, clause (5), (a) items (i) 
        and (b) (ii), if the property has been restored to the owner, 
        "value" means the value of the use of the property or the damage 
        which it sustained, whichever is greater, while the owner was 
        deprived of its possession, but not exceeding the value 
        otherwise provided herein.  For a theft committed within the 
        meaning of subdivision 2, clause (9), if the property has been 
        restored to the owner, "value" means the rental value of the 
        property, determined at the rental rate contracted by the 
        defendant or, if no rental rate was contracted, the rental rate 
        customarily charged by the owner for use of the property, plus 
        any damage that occurred to the property while the owner was 
        deprived of its possession, but not exceeding the total retail 
        value of the property at the time of rental. 
           (4) "Article" means any object, material, device or 
        substance, including any writing, record, recording, drawing, 
        sample specimen, prototype, model, photograph, microorganism, 
        blueprint or map, or any copy of any of the foregoing. 
           (5) "Representing" means describing, depicting, containing, 
        constituting, reflecting or recording. 
           (6) "Trade secret" means information, including a formula, 
        pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or 
        process, that:  
           (i) derives independent economic value, actual or 
        potential, from not being generally known to, and not being 
        readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can 
        obtain economic value from its disclosure or use, and 
           (ii) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under 
        the circumstances to maintain its secrecy. 
           (7) "Copy" means any facsimile, replica, photograph or 
        other reproduction of an article, and any note, drawing, or 
        sketch made of or from an article while in the presence of the 
        article. 
           (8) "Property of another" includes property in which the 
        actor is coowner or has a lien, pledge, bailment, or lease or 
        other subordinate interest, property transferred by the actor in 
        circumstances which are known to the actor and which make the 
        transfer fraudulent as defined in section 513.44, property 
        possessed pursuant to a short-term rental contract, and property 
        of a partnership of which the actor is a member, unless the 
        actor and the victim are husband and wife.  It does not include 
        property in which the actor asserts in good faith a claim as a 
        collection fee or commission out of property or funds recovered, 
        or by virtue of a lien, setoff, or counterclaim.  
           (9) "Services" include but are not limited to labor, 
        professional services, transportation services, electronic 
        computer services, the supplying of hotel accommodations, 
        restaurant services, entertainment services, advertising 
        services, telecommunication services, and the supplying of 
        equipment for use including rental of personal property or 
        equipment.  
           (10) "Motor vehicle" means a self-propelled device for 
        moving persons or property or pulling implements from one place 
        to another, whether the device is operated on land, rails, 
        water, or in the air. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 609.52, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [ACTS CONSTITUTING THEFT.] Whoever does any of 
        the following commits theft and may be sentenced as provided in 
        subdivision 3: 
           (1) intentionally and without claim of right takes, uses, 
        transfers, conceals or retains possession of movable property of 
        another without the other's consent and with intent to deprive 
        the owner permanently of possession of the property; or 
           (2) having a legal interest in movable property, 
        intentionally and without consent, takes the property out of the 
        possession of a pledgee or other person having a superior right 
        of possession, with intent thereby to deprive the pledgee or 
        other person permanently of the possession of the property; or 
           (3) obtains for the actor or another the possession, 
        custody, or title to property of or performance of services by a 
        third person by intentionally deceiving the third person with a 
        false representation which is known to be false, made with 
        intent to defraud, and which does defraud the person to whom it 
        is made.  "False representation" includes without limitation: 
           (i) the issuance of a check, draft, or order for the 
        payment of money, except a forged check as defined in section 
        609.631, or the delivery of property knowing that the actor is 
        not entitled to draw upon the drawee therefor or to order the 
        payment or delivery thereof; or 
           (ii) a promise made with intent not to perform.  Failure to 
        perform is not evidence of intent not to perform unless 
        corroborated by other substantial evidence; or 
           (iii) the preparation or filing of a claim for 
        reimbursement, a rate application, or a cost report used to 
        establish a rate or claim for payment for medical care provided 
        to a recipient of medical assistance under chapter 256B, which 
        intentionally and falsely states the costs of or actual services 
        provided by a vendor of medical care; or 
           (iv) the preparation or filing of a claim for reimbursement 
        for providing treatment or supplies required to be furnished to 
        an employee under section 176.135 which intentionally and 
        falsely states the costs of or actual treatment or supplies 
        provided; or 
           (v) the preparation or filing of a claim for reimbursement 
        for providing treatment or supplies required to be furnished to 
        an employee under section 176.135 for treatment or supplies that 
        the provider knew were medically unnecessary, inappropriate, or 
        excessive; or 
           (4) by swindling, whether by artifice, trick, device, or 
        any other means, obtains property or services from another 
        person; or 
           (5) intentionally commits any of the acts listed in this 
        subdivision but with intent to exercise temporary control only 
        and: 
           (i) the control exercised manifests an indifference to the 
        rights of the owner or the restoration of the property to the 
        owner; or 
           (ii) the actor pledges or otherwise attempts to subject the 
        property to an adverse claim; or 
           (iii) the actor intends to restore the property only on 
        condition that the owner pay a reward or buy back or make other 
        compensation; or 
           (6) finds lost property and, knowing or having reasonable 
        means of ascertaining the true owner, appropriates it to the 
        finder's own use or to that of another not entitled thereto 
        without first having made reasonable effort to find the owner 
        and offer and surrender the property to the owner; or 
           (7) intentionally obtains property or services, offered 
        upon the deposit of a sum of money or tokens in a coin or token 
        operated machine or other receptacle, without making the 
        required deposit or otherwise obtaining the consent of the 
        owner; or 
           (8) intentionally and without claim of right converts any 
        article representing a trade secret, knowing it to be such, to 
        the actor's own use or that of another person or makes a copy of 
        an article representing a trade secret, knowing it to be such, 
        and intentionally and without claim of right converts the same 
        to the actor's own use or that of another person.  It shall be a 
        complete defense to any prosecution under this clause for the 
        defendant to show that information comprising the trade secret 
        was rightfully known or available to the defendant from a source 
        other than the owner of the trade secret; or 
           (9) leases or rents personal property under a written 
        instrument and who: 
           (i) with intent to place the property beyond the control of 
        the lessor conceals or aids or abets the concealment of the 
        property or any part thereof,; or any lessee of the property who 
           (ii) sells, conveys, or encumbers the property or any part 
        thereof without the written consent of the lessor, without 
        informing the person to whom the lessee sells, conveys, or 
        encumbers that the same is subject to such lease and or rental 
        contract with intent to deprive the lessor of possession 
        thereof; or 
           (iii) does not return the property to the lessor at the end 
        of the lease or rental term, plus agreed upon extensions, with 
        intent to wrongfully deprive the lessor of possession of the 
        property; or 
           (iv) returns the property to the lessor at the end of the 
        lease or rental term, plus agreed upon extensions, but does not 
        pay the lease or rental charges agreed upon in the written 
        instrument, with intent to wrongfully deprive the lessor of the 
        agreed upon charges.  
        For the purposes of items (iii) and (iv), the value of the 
        property must be at least $100. 
        Evidence that a lessee used a false or, fictitious, or not 
        current name or, address, or place of employment in obtaining 
        the property or fails or refuses to return the property or pay 
        the rental contract charges to lessor within five days after 
        written demand for the return has been served personally in the 
        manner provided for service of process of a civil action or sent 
        by certified mail to the last known address of the lessee, 
        whichever shall occur later, shall be evidence of intent to 
        violate this clause.  Service by certified mail shall be deemed 
        to be complete upon deposit in the United States mail of such 
        demand, postpaid and addressed to the person at the address for 
        the person set forth in the lease or rental agreement, or, in 
        the absence of the address, to the person's last known place of 
        residence; or 
           (10) alters, removes, or obliterates numbers or symbols 
        placed on movable property for purpose of identification by the 
        owner or person who has legal custody or right to possession 
        thereof with the intent to prevent identification, if the person 
        who alters, removes, or obliterates the numbers or symbols is 
        not the owner and does not have the permission of the owner to 
        make the alteration, removal, or obliteration; or 
           (11) with the intent to prevent the identification of 
        property involved, so as to deprive the rightful owner of 
        possession thereof, alters or removes any permanent serial 
        number, permanent distinguishing number or manufacturer's 
        identification number on personal property or possesses, sells 
        or buys any personal property knowing or having reason to know 
        that the permanent serial number, permanent distinguishing 
        number or manufacturer's identification number has been removed 
        or altered; or 
           (12) intentionally deprives another of a lawful charge for 
        cable television service by: 
           (i) making or using or attempting to make or use an 
        unauthorized external connection outside the individual dwelling 
        unit whether physical, electrical, acoustical, inductive, or 
        other connection; or by 
           (ii) attaching any unauthorized device to any cable, wire, 
        microwave, or other component of a licensed cable communications 
        system as defined in chapter 238.  Nothing herein shall be 
        construed to prohibit the electronic video rerecording of 
        program material transmitted on the cable communications system 
        by a subscriber for fair use as defined by Public Law Number 
        94-553, section 107; or 
           (13) except as provided in paragraphs (12) and (14), 
        obtains the services of another with the intention of receiving 
        those services without making the agreed or reasonably expected 
        payment of money or other consideration; or 
           (14) intentionally deprives another of a lawful charge for 
        telecommunications service by:  
           (i) making, using, or attempting to make or use an 
        unauthorized connection whether physical, electrical, by wire, 
        microwave, radio, or other means to a component of a local 
        telecommunication system as provided in chapter 237; or 
           (ii) attaching an unauthorized device to a cable, wire, 
        microwave, radio, or other component of a local 
        telecommunication system as provided in chapter 237.  
           The existence of an unauthorized connection is prima facie 
        evidence that the occupier of the premises:  
           (i) made or was aware of the connection; and 
           (ii) was aware that the connection was unauthorized; or 
           (15) with intent to defraud, diverts corporate property 
        other than in accordance with general business purposes or for 
        purposes other than those specified in the corporation's 
        articles of incorporation; or 
           (16) with intent to defraud, authorizes or causes a 
        corporation to make a distribution in violation of section 
        302A.551, or any other state law in conformity with it; or 
           (17) takes or drives a motor vehicle without the consent of 
        the owner or an authorized agent of the owner, knowing or having 
        reason to know that the owner or an authorized agent of the 
        owner did not give consent. 
           Sec. 3.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 and 2 are effective August 1, 1999, and apply to 
        crimes committed on or after that date. 
           Presented to the governor April 16, 1999 
           Signed by the governor April 20, 1999, 9:19 a.m.

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